This web page is dedicated to the memory of our dear "Rajah" ... and "Tess"
Welcome to Mariama, a select, respected cattery, located in a small rural town within The Greater City of Sudbury, a northern Ontario city which is the Nickel Mining Capital of the World. With a geographic area of 3,627 square kilometres, The City of Greater Sudbury, is the largest municipality in Ontario based on land mass. The City of Greater Sudbury, home to 330 lakes, is locally known as the City of Lakes and contains more lakes than any other municipality in Canada. Sudbury is about a 4 hour drive or a 45 minute flight North of Toronto.
Now to tell you a little bit about us. My partner and I are both educated and working professionals as are our families (healthcare, education, mining, government).I am a school teacher by profession (BA. BEd.). Animals and nature are my passion and have always been an important part of my life since I was a child. I have over 30 years of experience caring for a variety of animals. I have always enjoyed the challenge of breeding a top quality animal and improving a gene pool with each new successive generation. With this comes the satisfaction of creating a new and unique line of individuals to add to the gene pool as a whole. A gene pool for a serious breeder can be compared to a painter's pallet of paint or a sculpter's clay - with a lot of careful thought, planning and a little imagination, a breeder can create their own unique, yet ideal image of the perfect "specimen". I also take great pleasure in sharing my unique "creations" with others.
I have successfully bred and exhibited Shetland Sheepdogs (Shelties) as a hobby since 1998 under the registered name Starswept. My pedigrees can be found with several other respected breeders in both Canada and the US. We have always had cats as part of our household since we can remember. After our longhaired pet calico mixed breed cat Rajah passed away of old age, we started our search for a pure breed of cat whose character would fit in well with our existing household. Therefore, we wanted to be sure to select a breed of cat that was similar and compatible in temperament to our shelties (gentle, loving, highly intelligent and fun!). A Maine Coon was a very natural choice for us!
For people who cannot have a dog we find the Maine Coon to have a lot of dog like (and sheltie like) characteristics. You can teach them to fetch a small ball or toy. When they want to play it is very common for them to initiate the playing by bringing you the toy they wish to play with. Their easy-going, gentle, friendly personalities are indeed closer to a dog's, making Maine Coons adapt easily to homes with children and multiple pets. All of these wonderful qualities made us instantly fall in love with the breed.
"Mariama" is an African name meaning "A Gift From God", a truly appropriate name for such treasures! Mariama offers healthy, well bred kittens in a variety of colours, striving to produce top quality, typey kittens with excellent health, wonderful temperaments, and longevity. To accomplish this goal we carefully select quality breeding stock with exceptional type, beautiful expression, soundness in structure and temperament. We have incorporated healthy breeding stock from various bloodlines and pedigrees with Champion to Supreme Grand Champions, Regional Winner, Imported International Grand Champion, World Champion, and Outcrossed Show Lines as well as New Foundation Bloodlines. This allows us to maintain an excellent quality, genetically diverse gene pool which is essential for health and longevity. To guide us in this endeavour, we follow the Maine Coon Breed Standard set out by the major purebred cat registering bodies. Mariama Cattery is triple Registered and our Pedigrees are triple Certified by TICA, CFA and CCA to ensure authenticity. Our Cattery is FeLV, FIV, Ringworm and Parasite Free.
Currently we are not showing our cats. I enjoyed training and showing our homebred shelties for over 15 years. As we do not get very many dog shows in our city, we travelled to Southern Ontario to show our dogs there. Due to our busy family lives, we did not have the time to continue with the extensive travel required. Therefore we hired professional show dog handlers and shipped our dogs down south to be shown for us. Unfortunately, there are no cat shows in our city and no professional show cat handlers (if there even is such a thing anywhere). Our family lives continue to be busy with grandchildren etc. Regardless, shipping our adult cats to be shown by others on a regular basis would be too stressful on them (cats are territorial and get very attached to their homes, unlike dogs who are pack animals). Cats also tend to be more viral than dogs so there is also the ongoing worry of bringing home viruses etc and the need to quarantine constantly is a big concern when showing animals, a worry we don't need right now. Perhaps once our personal lives settle down some and there is time for travel, we will venture into the show scene again. In the meantime, we can say we are a truly "closed" cattery at this time which certainly has its benefits.
Kittens are individually handled daily from birth and are raised in a clean, bright, lively family environment and are use to dogs and children. This ensures maximum socialization from the very beginning which is so important for healthy psychological and emotional development. Also, kittens will eventually be travelling into varying circumstances so we attempt to expose them to as many new sounds, smells and environments as possible so that the transition from our home to yours is an easy one.
We believe that the key to health and vitality is a high quality, nutritious diet. Therefore we feed our cats/kittens premium all natural foods. We offer written health guarantees (genetic defects) and lifetime support.
Our kittens have been placed in select homes across Canada. Many of our adopters come back for seconds and thirds which is a wonderful compliment to our breeding program :-).
We hope you will enjoy your virtual visit and will come back soon!
~ Mariama® Maine Coon Cats
The Cat's African Heritage
AFRICA has cats. We all know that. The problem is that most of the cats of Africa can rip you to shreds without so much as an "if-you-please." Sure, Egypt and their adored cats were in Africa, but that culture was radically different from those of the remarkably diverse peoples inhabiting the rest of this vast continent. Big and dangerous cats were everywhere, and I would think that dealing with them would be precarious at best. For instance, imagine how scratched up you can get when performing the marginally difficult task of giving your cat a bath. Now imagine if that cat weighed about 400 pounds like the African Lion. And lions aren't the only big African cats; don't forget cheetahs and leopards. Fortunately, these magnificent creatures usually won't harm humans unless they are starving or terrified. The indigenous people of Africa have nothing but the respect for these big-cats (and indeed all animals) and their ancient myths and legends are filled with the exploits of these creatures. But there was one African cat that wasn't so big. To the Africans it was just another cat, albeit, a smaller one. We've given it the scientific name Felis Libyca or simply the African wildcat. Around 4497 years ago (c.3000 B.C. ) this wildcat made its way through Ethiopia and up into Egypt. These are believed to be the very cats that the Egyptians domesticated. While we're on the subject, the cat we all know and love today is descended from the pairing of the African wildcat Felis Libyca and the European wildcat Felis Silvestris, (do you suppose this where the cartoon Sylvester got his name?) And just in case you are burning with curiosity, that adorable pussycat all snuggled nicely in your lap is designated Felis Catus. So next time you happen to be studying the behavior of your cat, remember its rich African heritage.